Category Archives: Training

Jamaica’s Athlete Sprint Training Program

There is no doubt Jamaica has the fastest sprinters in the world. This tiny island country of just 3 million has awed the world with it’s speed on racing track. In the last two editions of Summer games, Jamaica has won more sprint gold medals than other racing powerhouses like USA, Britain and Canada.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell are now the fastest ever. Powell is second only to Maurice Greene in the sub 10 second category. Bolt has 3 of the top ten 200m times in history. Michael Johnson has only 2. The 2 Jamaican men have broken the world record 3 times.

The incredible performance of Usain Bolt and other Jamaican has led many people to ask, ‘what is the secret to the success of the Jamaican sprinters?’

Experienced Sprint Coaches in Jamaica

There are many reasons why this small country has been able to churn out world beating sprinters. The first explanation has to be the pool of talented and experienced coaches in jamaica. Researchers on Jamaica athletics attribute the success to Dennis Johnson, the father of college level sprinting in Jamaica. Dennis Johnson was coached by Loyd C “Bud” Winter a legendary sprint coach in the US. When Johnson returned to Jamaica he brought many of Winter’s ideas to the island. Though Jamaica’s sprint program is basic at first glance, their coaches are highly experienced and knowledgeable. Glen Mills, Usain Bolt’s coach was also responsible for the success experienced by Raymond Stewart a world class sprinter of the eighties. Stephen Francis, Asafa Powell’s coach has other successful athletes such as Sherone Simpson, Michael Frater and Brigitte Foster-Hylton. The coaches have an attention to detail and technique. The facilities are basic and run-down in comparison to other sprint programs in the US, but according to Denis Shaver a top US coach, the Jamaicans have many talented individuals. At the University of Technology in Jamaica, athletes train on a grass track that is uneven and bumpy. The track lines are burnt into the surface with diesel because they can’t afford the weekly marking of chalk on the grass. The weights room is basic and equipped with old rusty machinery.

Advantage of Training on Grass

Yet, could it be that the basic facilities available to Jamaican sprinters is part of the reason for their success? Most world class sprint programs train on synthetic surfaces made of rubber. The Jamaicans’ train on both but predominantly on grass. Sprinting on different surfaces can influence the amount of work done by muscles in the legs. For example, sprinting on a soft surface will require muscles to work harder than on a hard surface. On a soft surface the body must work harder to stabilize itself. Muscles will try to stretch as little as possible to allow the tendons to do much of the work. This over time will lead to stronger muscles. Training on a softer surface will require tendons to become more stretchy (compliant) to store energy and release it as the foot leaves the ground. Being forced to make do with grass as their main training surface could well be an advantage to the Jamaicans. The Jamaican coaches insist on a high volume of hill work all year round. Sprinting uphill provides specific stress to the muscles responsible for accelerating the body to top speed in the short sprints.

Half Marathon Training Schedule For Beginners

Many people like the idea of taking on the challenge of running a half marathon. But for some the thought is daunting, particularly those who do not run or jog often. But the event can be completed by just about everyone, including beginners. This means people who cannot run far before training. It is one of the appeals of the sport and why it is so popular. It is important to get the basics right though, including selecting a suitable training schedule, one that is designed for beginners.

There are many plans and schedules for running half marathons on the internet and in running magazines, but most of those are aimed at people who are generally fit. Some are even designed specifically for runners. If you are neither of these things then you may find it difficult to complete the full training program. And that is important as every session that is completed (including the rest days) will be repaid to you on race day.

A good basic guideline is whether you are able to run or jog for 20 minutes non-stop and without walking. If you are able to do that, then a standard schedule is appropriate. If you are not able to run for this period of time then you need a schedule designed for beginners.

Most schedules last for between 12 and 16 weeks. A schedule that is designed for beginners will gradually build up the distances you are able to run. Some people will only be able to manage a combination of running and walking. That is okay, however, as all training will help get you ready for the race distance – 13.1 miles.

Sample 12 weeks Half Marathon Training Program for Beginners.

beginner half marathon plan

The first third of beginners’ schedules will involve a lot of rest days and short runs that will gradually get longer. During the second third of the training plan the distances will get longer. You may also be encouraged to run faster. Speed work is good for building leg strength, something which will help on race day, even while running slowly.

The final third will involve a tapering phase where the lengths of runs decrease. By this stage you will be at peak fitness so the key thing is to make sure your energy levels and strength on race day are maximized.

If your selected half marathon training schedule is completed you will be fitter and will be ready to complete a half marathon. You will not break any records, but that is not the point. Finishing and achieving your goals are the objectives.

Important factors for a good half marathon training plan

Rest days

Rest days are very important during training. Even though running is important, allow for at least two days or so for rest per week. Resting will rejuvenate muscles, and alleviate tension.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking lots of water, preferably eight glasses a day will flush your body of any unnecessary toxins and keep your body thriving throughout your half marathon training.

Proper Runners Diet.

Make sure you eat well throughout your training period. The best diet for an active half marathon runner is Carb heavy diet. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for our bodies. The ratio should be something like 60% carbs, and the rest coming from fats and proteins.

Take it easy

You do not want to run more than your body will allow, because running too fast or hard over a short period will lead to injury.

Check the following to download half marathon training programs.

Download Free Half Marathon Training Programs in PDF

A good half marathon training program/plan/schedule should contain all the aspects that are necessary to make you run with speed and endurance.

The plan should have days for easy runs, hard running, rest, strength training, long run and most importantly rest.

Your goal is to build up the strength and endurance in your thighs, heart and lungs. A half marathon training schedule helps you do this step by step.  Without a training plan you will do a lot of running and put too much stress on your joints and muscles. This may possibly trigger possible injury and a lot of soreness.

You can use your own custom made half marathon training plan or download a ready made half marathon training program from online experts.

Websites and Places To Download Free Half Marathon Training Plans in PDF Format

You can buy a half marathon training program online or you can get a free program from running websites. Just because they are free does not make them inferior. The free programs are as good as the commercial plans.

From endurancetraining.com.au

Developed by an Australian coach, Ben wesby. The 12 week program contains training tips and ideas for half marathon training. It covers the following areas :-

  1. Long runs for half marathon
  2. Interval training for half marathon
  3. Strength sessions for half marathon

Get a printable PDF file @Aussie site.

From Marathonrookie.com

This is a top running website. You can download a printable PDF plan @website.

From smhhalfmarathon.com.au

They are organizers of one of the biggest half marathon in Australia. You can download printable PDF @ Beginner plan and advanced schedule for anyone dreaming of finishing a half in under 1 hours 30 minutes.

Tips for Writing a Custom made half marathon training program

The alternative to buying or downloading a training plan is writing your own training schedule.

In drawing up a schedule that you use to train, you will want to start by focusing on pace. Pacing is very important and you will need to spend a lot of time to develop a competitive pace. If you run at a slow pace, you will take a long time to finish a race, but if you aim at a high and comfortable pace, you will be able to finish on your target time. Lets say you aim at 5 minutes a kilometre. On race day you won’t have to worry about running faster or whether you are running slowly because you know if you stick at 5 min/km, you will be able to finish in 1 hour 20 minutes.

The amount of weeks you spend training is also very important. The rule of thumb for training duration is 12 – 16 weeks. Anything short of this will leave you under trained and under prepared. Anything more than 16 weeks may lead to over training and fatigue.

Your training diary should consist of a set distance for each day. Your plan should start with low mileage in the first week and then gradually increase the distance as the week progress. By doing this you can avoid any physical shock to your body that could result from moving along too quickly in your training.

How many miles you run per week will depend on your experience and goals. A runner who is aiming to finish a 21K race in 45 minutes will need to run more miles per week than a runner who is aiming a modest time of 2 hours. The more miles you cover per week the faster you will run.

Lastly, make a provision for plenty of rest and relaxation in your half marathon running schedule. Have rest days clearly marked in your training diary. Don’t underestimate the importance of rest. Resting is a vital part of training for a race. When you spend so much time running the muscles in your body get worn out and stretched to their limit. To avoid any injuries, you should rest for two days every week.

David Rudisha Training Program & Diary

David Rudisha is the best middle distance runner in the world. His records says it all:-

  • The current Olympic and world record holder in the 800 metres,
  • The current World and Olympic Champion in 800 metres.
  • The first person to run under 1:41.00 in 800 metres,
  • He holds the three fastest, six of the eight fastest, and half of the twenty fastest times ever run by a male in 800 metres.

It is unbelievable this tall Maasai warrior (he is from Maasai community in Kenya) has achieved all these even be before his 25 birthday.

There has been a lot of interest in how this speedster trains. I haven’t found any detailed training plans but His Coach, Brother Colm O’Connell has given interviews that have shed some light on the type of training they do.

David Rudisha Training Plan

In a recent interview with IAAFwebsite he disclosed David Rudisha does a combination of track workouts, gym exercises and endurance runs.

Usually, we sit together in mid-November. We first talk about the previous season: what was good, what was bad and why? I let him do quite a lot of the post-mortem. Then we start talking about the coming year. What will be the priorities, the high points?

This time David had a three-month rest after his last race on 29 August, in Zurich. Three months without any kind of training. He needed this long break for charging his batteries – physically and mentally. When he resumed training, we had to be very careful. You could easily catch an injury. Basic conditioning, easy runs, about 60km a week, some gym work, exercises. Slowly but surely we increased the quality, the weekly mileage remained the same. In March, we started adding the track workouts.

The Diet of David Rudisha

Another common question about Rudisha is “What does he eat?” Rudisha diet is a well managed mix of proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables. There is minimal junk food available in Kenya and very few processed food so everything is fresh. His diet remains the same throughout the year, only the quantities change.

Weekly Training Diary

In another running website I found a weekly training diary complied by Joseph Ngure and Brother Colm O’Connell. The following diary is for the training program for all junior athletes at St. Patrick Iten High School. Rudisha was a student and a young running protege at the school and he must have followed the program.

Mon : am (men) 8-9 km and stretching
am (women) 6-7 km and stretchingpm (men) Long run 45-60 minutes (12-14 km)+excercises
pm (women) Long run 45-60 minutes (10-12 km)+exercises
Tue : am (men) 8 km 27-30 minutes
am (women) 6 km 25 minutes pm (men/women) 10 munutes w/up,Fartlek for 60-75 minutes – 2 minutes        hard/3 minutes easy or 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy+exercises
Wed : am (men) 9 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibility
am (women) 7 km pace endurance 60 % and flexibilitypm (men/women) Circuit training 4×2 min each, 3×2 min each. Then 100     meteres striding plus long strides for 45 minutes
Thu : am (men/women) Long slow 60 minutes over mixed terrainpm (men/women) 15 min. runs. Then diagonal drills for 30-35 minutes, 10 minutes dynamics
Fri : am (men) 8 km easy 30 %
am (women) 6 km easy 30 % plus dynamicspm (men/women) Hill reps. 120-200 meters x 14 at 60 % pace.
Sat : am (men/women) striding for 40 minutes over 100-120 metrespm (men/women) Competition or speed play over 1-1 mins. or 500 meters
Sun : am (men) easy 8 km
am (women) easy 6 kmpm (men/women) active rest

The training plan emphasizes speed work so much. Lots of drills and striding  – even as main workouts.

If you look at the program, they run 13 sessions and one “active rest” at very young age – and at high speed. The “fartlek” is a VO2 max training. So in one week, they have 2 Vo2 max sessions (Tuesday and Saturday) 2-3 speed sessions (Wednesday and Thursday, plus partly Saturday morning) and one speed endurance session (hill reps on Friday). This comes in addition to the 4 Altitude Training sessions/week (the “long runs”) and two easy runs (am Friday and am Thursday

The training diary was posted online by Marius Bakkens at mariusbakken.com. He is a Norwegian runner who specializes in the 5000 metres, having run distances from 800 to 10,000 metres. He has visited Kenya and he got it from a friend in Kenya.

How To Increase Your 10K Running Speed

The 10K is a short race that requires speed and some endurance. 99% of runners have no problem completing a 10K race and their only problem is they can’t do it fast enough.

To increase your 10K running speed, you need to follow a training plan that is designed to make you run faster. The training plan should consist of Increasing the distance of your weekly mileage, adding speed works to your training, doing strength training exercise and a longer long run.

Increase weekly mileage to run a faster 10K

If you have been running 20 miles a week, you need to think of increasing your distance to 30 miles or even 40 miles depending on how much improvement you are seeking. There is a direct correlation between the amount of weekly mileage and running speed. Kenyan runners are known as the fastest runners in the world. One explanation as to why they run faster than other people is they cover more kilometers per week than runners in USA and Europe. It is simple, get out of your comfort zone and run more. The more you run the faster you will get.

Strength Training for 10K race

When training for a 10k, it can also be helpful to workout at a gym. Adding cross training to your regimen can strengthen other muscles, and give your other muscle groups time to repair.This extra gym training will give your leg muscles power to run faster and longer.There is no doubt, the weaker your muscles the slower you will run. The gym is not the only place to build strength, you can achieve good result by doing good old fashioned home workouts like push ups, squats, calf raises and pull ups. See. Gym exercises to make you run faster.

Run Hills to Get Better at 10K

Another good option for building physical strength is running hills. Hills challenge your body to work harder. The harder the body works the more it adapts to the habit of running at high intensity. Find a good challenging hill and do 8 repeats. Run up at top speed and then jog down.

Train with a faster runner

Try and find someone in your club or perhaps a running partner that’s just that little bit quicker than what you are over 10 kilometers.

Try and stick to this person as closely as possible when running. However you still need to run your own pace, so if their pace is too fast drop back a little, but try keeping them in sight.

Speed work for 10k Training

Many people use interval training to get prepared for a 10K run. This type of training involves doing several repetitions of short and long distance runs. As an example you will run a lap at a very fast pace and then have a short rest in between the runs. This will increase your speed and it will help you prepare for the 10K run. You can do a walk between laps or you can do short jog, but the point is to keep things going for several reps.

The long run

They say the long run is the most important part of any training. The reason being, it is a good indicator of whether you have what it takes to finish a race. A good long run for a 10K race is anywhere between 8 – 10K. If you dream of improving you finishing time you will need to go above these distances. Aim to do long runs of 12 – 15K.

Don’t slacken

Don’t feel the temptation to going back to the days when running was slow and easy. Running at a fast pace will feel painful at first but keep at it. As you get more races under your belt, you will feel older and wiser to the whole process. Figure out what it takes, and nothing will stop you.

Two other aspects that can play significant roles in your running performance are maintaining great nutrition, rest and stretching your muscles after your workouts. But the most important thing is sticking to a running schedule that increases your endurance and stamina.

Follow this advice/tips and you will soon be graduating to running half marathon. Hope to hear from you when you happily register for your first half marathon.

7 Minute Workout For Building Physical Fitness

There are many types of exercise programs that a runner can do to build muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. There are the common exercise workouts like the push ups, squats etc that don’t need instructions and there are the sophisticated programs like the P90X that come with an instruction manual. The latest exercise program is the 7 minute workout by Chris Jordan and Brett Klikka. They have published their research in the May-June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal.

12 Exercises That are Similar to doing a single long run

Chris Jordan and Brett Klikka claim that doing the following 12 exercises in quick succession can give you benefit similar to one long run. The incredible thing is, this whole workout is done in just seven minutes. It is a high intensity exercise that only requires your body weight, chair and a wall to do.

7 minute high intensity interval training workout

Similar to your regular interval training

“There’s very good evidence” that high-intensity interval training provides “many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance training but in much less time,” says Chris Jordan, the director of exercise physiology at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Fla.

How To Do The Seven Minute High Intensity Interval Training Workout

12 Exercises

  1. Jumping Jack
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push ups
  4. Abdominal crunch
  5. Step ups
  6. Squats
  7. Triceps
  8. Plank
  9. High knees running
  10. Lunge
  11. Push up & Rotation
  12. Side plank
  • The 12 exercises should be done in rapid successions.
  • You should perform each exercise for a maximum 30 seconds.
  • You should aim to do 15 – 20 repetitions.
  • You should take a 10-second rest between exercises.
  • You should alternate between upper body and lower body. While the participant is performing push-ups, the lower body is not being used significantly and can somewhat recover. This allows for the lower body to have sufficient energy to perform squats with proper form and technique and at adequate intensity.
  • The exercise should be done at high intensity level..You should kick A***.

Benefits of 7 minute workout

The authors of this workout claim that these workout is an efficient means to improve your muscular strength, cardiovascular fitness and weight loss.

Precaution

Because of the high intensity nature of this workout, I would think one would have to be in good physical condition before attempting to do many of these exercises. Those who are unfit should do some modification. Instead of 30 secs, aim at one minute. If you think you are too unfit, visit a trainer to determine what they think you can do, preceded by asking a physician about it.

Best Gym Work Outs For Runners Who Want To Build Strength

If you want to add strength, power and speed to your running you need to add strength training to your regular running routine. 

Strength training exercises can be used as part of training program for all races, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon and ultra marathon.

Strength training exercises focused on running muscles can add speed and endurance to your running. One pro athlete who has benefited from adding gym work outs to his regular running is British long and middle distance runner, Mo Farah.

This is what Alberto Salazar said of Mo Farah after Mo won 10,000 & 5000 gold at 2012 London Games;

When Mo came to me 18 months ago, he was a skinny distance runner with a great engine but no upper body. At the end of races, he would tire and his head would bob around and his arms would flail.

‘He was the weakest athlete I’d ever trained — in terms of core strength and being able to do push-ups, sit-ups and single-leg squats. He was a 90lb weakling.

‘The No 1 thing that has helped Mo is not the 110 miles a week he puts in on the road, but the seven hours a fortnight in the gym.’

Going to the gym for a runner is not about beefing up but about building strength. The following gym exercise will help you build strength without adding unnecessary muscle weight.

Gym Exercises to Build Upper Body Strength

Push Ups

press ups

If done properly push ups will add strength to your chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and even the legs. Make sure your body is parallel to the surface. Connect your breath with your movements to make it easier. Inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso down, and exhale as you straighten your arms and lift your torso back to the starting position.

Sit ups

Doing sit-ups is a quick way to get stronger abdominal muscles. Start off with doing the number you are comfortable with lets say 5 and then  add the number when you get stronger. If you can’t do them by yourself, ask someone to hold your feet.

Gym Exercise to Build Lower Body Strength

Squats

 

Squats or squads are good for increase strength. full body exercise that trains primarily the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads, hamstrings, as well as strengthening the bones, ligaments and insertion of the tendons throughout the lower body. This is one exercise that will involve all the leg muscles used during running. To add more strength you can hold a weight on your shoulders.

Calf raise

Finally I come to calf raise. This exercise can be done at your door step or on a stair case. Calf raises will strengthen all the muscles of the lower leg.

The beauty of these exercises is you don’t have to go to a gym, you can do them from home.

Safety Tips To Follow When Exercising

1. Maintain proper form – Perhaps the leading cause of injuries while working out comes from not maintaining proper form while working out. It is far more important to use proper form than to try lifting heavier weights. A good idea is to install mirrors to allow you to view yourself while working out. This will help you keep a check on your form and make sure you are performing the exercise properly.

2. Use a spotter – If you are doing some exercises where heavier weights are involved, it is a good idea to ask a friend or family member to spot you. Let your spotter know how many reps you are going to perform so they are aware and can help assist you better.

Runner’s Knee Treament & Exercises

Runners knee is a pain around the knee. It’s one of the most common running injuries suffered by recreation runners.

It is a unique pain because you don’t feel the pain when you are walking or stationary but you feel the pain any time you try to run. The first time i suffered a runners knee was when I was running up a hill, my left knee burst into sudden sharp pain, there was no warning sign, the knee just exploded! I stopped and started walking without any pain. After finishing the hill I decided to start running because I wasn’t feeling pain on the knee but as soon as I ran a few yards the pain came back. Walking was not a problem but running was a hell of a pain.

The pain recurred any time I was going up and down stairs. Any activity that required extra effort on my legs triggered  pain on the knee.

Runner’s Knee Common on left knee

Runner’s knee mostly affects the left knee. Most runners report it as pain on the left knee while running. My guess as to why the left knee and not the right knee is affected has to do with the fact that majority of humans are right handed. We use the right leg to kick stuff around and that effort makes it stronger. On the other hand, the left leg is never used seriously, leaving it a weak partner. Have you heard of the statement “USE IT OR LOSE IT!”? It makes sense to me.

Causes of Runner’s Knee

  1. Weak kneecaps, if you are a beginner runner your kneecaps are not used to the  high impact nature of road running and you might soon suffer a runners knee.
  2. Over training, Training without giving your body time to recover will lead to fatigue and injury of the knee muscles.
  3. Hard surface, tarmac is hard, and if you are just getting started in road running your knees will feel the negative effect  of running on tarmac.
  4. Wrong running shoes. Many runners are doing road running with running shoes meant for indoor sprints. A good road running shoe has a big sole to absorb the impact.

Treatment and Recovery for Runner’s Knee

  1. Icing the knee, Icing is the first line of treatment for any running injury. Most experts recommend applying ice five times a day for 15 minutes. But be careful you don’t get frost bite, read my post on How to properly ice a running injury
  2. After icing you can know start applying heat.
  3. Eat a healthy balanced diet, a diet rich in essential minerals will go a long way to helping you recover quickly. Read, Benefits of eating an egg in recovery process.
  4. Stop running for a while and give your kneecaps time to recover.
  5. As you take a rest from running,  keep the  knee active by  doing knee exercise.
  6. If the pain doesn’t go away or keeps recurring see your doctor.

Runner’s Knee Exercise

Managing runners knee

Don’t over train, Space your work outs to give your muscles enough time to recover. A beginner runner should run at least once per week. A beginner runner should also increase his/her distance gradually. Start with 1 mile, then 2 mile………….

If you are recovering from a runners knee, start by running on soft surfaces like grass or indoor track. Once you feel comfortable you can then get back running on hard tarmac

Do Knee strengthening exercises.

Its now two years since I suffered my last runners knee. As I have continued running over the years, my knees, ankles and the rest of my body have gotten stronger.

One benefit of training is that it makes your body parts stronger and a strong body suffers less injuries.

Sources. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00382

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times & How to Qualify With Ease

Boston marathon is the oldest and most prestigious marathon race. Every runner wants to run Boston at one point in his/her life. The organizers receive tens of thousands of application each year but many are turned away because the race is restricted to around 25,000 runners. Due to the big interest, the organizers require applicants to meet qualifying standards.

Boston marathon qualifying times/standards

Any runner dreaming of running at Boston marathon must show proof of finishing a marathon at a time lower than the time for his/her age group. Runners are grouped in ages, 18-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+

Boston Marathon qualifying standards

Source, BAA.

As you can see, the times are anything but easy. You have to be a damn quick runner to qualify. Below is a simple running guide on how to meet the qualifying times.

How to Qualify for Boston Marathon

1. Choose a marathon with a flat course.

The best short for hitting your goal is to choose a race where many runners have a habit of setting new PBS. Look for marathons with a flat course. Think of Amsterdam marathon, Berlin marathon, Paris marathon, Portland marathon, Baystate marathon etc. These marathons are famous for having a flat & fast courses. Before you join any race, make sure the race is listed among certified boston qualifiers at BAA website.

2. Quality Training

Since you are shooting for speed, it is important your marathon training plan is of high standard. Make sure it is intense. To run below the above times you will need to be running at least 4 times in week over a period of 3-4 months.

3. Speed work

In addition to your regular road racing make time to speed work outs. Do fartleks, yasso 800, interval training etc.

4. Eat Well

To run well you must eat well. Food is the fuel that drives you momentum. A healthy diet for an active marathon runner is one that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and sufficient but not excessive in protein. That translates to about 60 percent of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 25 percent from fat, and 15 percent from protein.

5. Hill Running

Although you are training to run a flat course, running hills is good for your legs, lungs and heart. Hill running will give your legs stamina and speed. Hill running will also enhance your breathing capacity.

6. Recovery.

Some call it, recovery, others call it rest, repair, growth, adaption, or even non-running-training. The most important element of training that many marathon training plans ignore is structured rest to make the most of the structured work. Every plan must include the correct balance of work and rest. It is in this rest time that our bodies respond to the loads we have placed on them. If there is no recovery then there is no improvement. A good training program recognizes this and does not leave recovery up to chance. The quantity, quality, purpose and timing of each of the training sessions are optimized to ensure that there is just the right amount of recovery to rebuild the body before the next load is introduced.

Safety Tips & Benefits For Running While Pregnant

Pregnancy interrupts many things in a mother’s life. There are changes in diet, chores and for moms who love running, they have to decide whether to continue running or suspend running until after delivery.

The majority of women suspend their running when pregnant. This is understandable but there is evidence that shows pregnant women can continue running while pregnant and running when pregnant has benefits. Pregnant women can continue running in their first trimester, second trimester and even third trimester.

Case Studies Of women running while pregnant

The proof of pudding is in eating. The best person to to tell us whether it is safe to run while pregnant is a pregnant runner. Read the account these pregnant runners,Rebecca, Amelia Hill and Ashley.

Benefits of running exercise while pregnant

  • Running exercise while pregnant helps limit excess weight gain.
  • Running exercise while pregnant keeps your mood up.
  • Running while pregnant can ward off pregnancy-induced hypertension and other prenatal problems.
  • Women who exercise before and during pregnancy generally have less complicated pregnancies and births.

Despite the benefits, most people have are very sceptical about running while pregnant. The fear has to do with the fact that running is a physically exhausting exercise. That may be true but when done correctly running is safe during pregnancy.

Risk of Running During Pregnancy

During pregnancy your body undergoes many changes. The major change is the softening of bones and ligaments. These softening mean you are more susceptible to injury. Your temperature regulation mechanisms goes haywire, you can easily over heat and damage the foetus.  Highly demanding exercise can deprive the baby in the womb much needed oxygen.

Safety of running during pregnancy

Doctors now agree that moderate exercise during pregnancy is good for both mother and baby. The keyword here is “Moderate”  running while pregnant is not business as usual. You need to adjust downward your speed and intensity. Good places to run are on soft surfaces such as grass, treadmill and running track.

In an article about female runners and pregnancy “Jane Hahn, senior editor for Runner’s World Magazine, believes many experienced runners can continue to run at least part-way through their pregnancies provided their doctors are aware of their exercise.

Safety Guidelines to follow for those who choose to continue running while pregnant

If you do decide to continue to run, here are some guidelines:

  • Don’t run to exhaustion.
  • Don’t run at high levels of intensity (e.g. sprinting)
  • Avoid running in extreme heat.
  • Always stay hydrated
  • Eat a balanced diet, eat before racing and eat immediately after running.
  • Always listen to your body and to your baby. If you feel something is wrong, it probably is.
  • Use a heart rate monitor to monitor your heart rate. Be cautious of an elevated heart rate.
  • If running feels too uncomfortable, consider other exercise, such as swimming or aqua-jogging, to keep fit. An exercise bike will help you to keep fit.

When to Stop running

If you develop any of the following symptoms, you should stop running immediately and consult a doctor:

-Bloody discharge or amniotic fluid leakage from the vagina
-Sudden swelling of the ankles, hands or face
-Persistent, severe headaches or visual disturbance
-Elevation of pulse race or blood pressure that persists after running.
-Excessive fatigue or any palpitations or chest pains
-Persistent contractions (they may suggest the onset of pre-mature labor)
-Unexplained abdominal pain

Here is to safe running.